On Friday, March 25, 100 juniors from Concord Academy left for a one-night junior leadership retreat at the Prindle Pond Conference Center in Charlton, MA. This 15-year annual retreat provides juniors with an opportunity to bond as a class and strengthen their transition into senior year. Students were instructed to leave their cell phones and personal belongings in their backpacks, which were locked in the Student Life Office for the duration of the retreat. The lack of technology allowed students to disconnect from their devices and engage in the JLR programming. 

The timing of the retreat coincided with the beginning of the formal all-school election process which allowed students to spend the weekend thinking about how they plan to become leaders in the CA community. During the retreat, students participated in activities surrounding the topic of leadership. Specifically, the aspects of what makes a good leader, and how they could become  better leaders at CA. Most importantly, students discovered the strengths and weaknesses of different forms of leadership and got to know themselves better during the process. 

Lucy Wang ’23 said that her favorite leadership activity during the weekend was a compass personality test. She and other students were given a questionnaire characterizing their personality into four categories: North, East, South, and West. Students who fall into the North direction are natural leaders; the East are natural planners; the South are natural team players; and the West are natural risk-takers. After taking this test, students were given the opportunity to discuss their outcomes. Lucy enjoyed discussing the benefits of different forms of leadership. She said that through conversation with other students, she was able to learn more about her personal leadership style and the benefits of collaboration. 

Liam O’Brien ’23 said that his favorite part of the weekend was being in an assigned group. Students were assigned into groups of roughly 25. They ate and did activities together as a group. Liam said, “Eating food with a different group of people than I typically hang out with allowed me to meet new people.” Additionally, he learned that collaboration with people you’re unfamiliar with is a great way to develop leadership skills. 

After attending this retreat, juniors are excited to implement their new knowledge next year as leaders in the school.